I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
User avatar
SneakySniper179
New Trial Member
Posts: 14
Joined: February 9th, 2021, 10:32 pm

I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by SneakySniper179 » February 22nd, 2021, 10:35 am

There is always some straight up ******** with it. I was raised Catholic and I really cannot stand the religion but I feel forced to believe in it. I see how it got so far. It holds your soul at gun point.

People use to sell indulgence at one point and that makes me sick but I bet they sold like hot cakes. Who the hell even knows what people use to preach when the bible was in latin. None of it makes sense and it doesn't help me in the slightest but I am forced to believe in all this **** or burn forever. I don't believe in Islam and I don't feel any way about it but that could be the right religion after all and I could be wrong.

God doesn't do **** for your life unless you want him to. It really doesn't matter. You can pray all you want but stage 4 cancer will never go away. So what do prayers really mean. I believe people are scared of what they don't know that happens after this place so they pray for their souls.

I mean, if we truly loved god we wouldn't be held down by fear. I do love life but I do love God or fear him. I fear him to a certain extent and I believe most people do but you can't be honest about that or like I said, you'd go to hell. Crazy stuff.

Let me end by saying this. If you don't fear the conquences of going to hell and you truly love him than denounce god out loud. I don't think any religious person would because you won't be forgiven. I'm not nor do I want to but that's my point.

You are afraid of burning in hell forever and ever. Hows that for all mercy and love. I'm just aggravated by religion. I couldn't have thought of a worse thing to happen to me.

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4391
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Scott » February 22nd, 2021, 2:52 pm

Hi, SneakySniper179!

Your post seems to repeatedly falsely conflate Catholicism with religion in general. There are many religions besides Catholicism, including many religions that are not one of the Abrahamic religions.

Most religions do not involve belief in a hell at all. In fact, the idea of hell referenced by your post is presumably an artifact solely of certain sects of Christianity.

As I understand it, Jews do not believe in hell. Jesus presumably did not believe in hell, since he was Jewish and is not quoted in the Christian Bible as saying anything about hell.

With all that said, the logic presented in the original post seems to be illogical in terms of being circular. In other words, the underlying argument of your post seems to be an instance of the Begging the Question Fallacy. I could be misinterpreting of course, but it seems like from my interpretation of the words in your post that your fundamental argument is that you must believe in hell so that you don't go to hell, which is circular and thus not logical.

By realizing (a.k.a believing) there is no hell, you would also be freed of the threat of that kind of supernatural after-death damnation; in other words, you would be free of hell.

I hope my response is helpful! :)
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

baker
Posts: 587
Joined: November 28th, 2020, 6:55 am

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by baker » February 22nd, 2021, 4:14 pm

Scott wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 2:52 pm
By realizing (a.k.a believing) there is no hell, you would also be freed of the threat of that kind of supernatural after-death damnation; in other words, you would be free of hell.

I hope my response is helpful!
It's not that easy. I've read in a study that Catholicism is the hardest religion to overcome.

And I have to repeat that:
By realizing (a.k.a believing) there is no hell
Hehe.


We you born and raised Catholic?

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4391
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Scott » February 22nd, 2021, 5:52 pm

Hi, @baker!

Thank you for questions.

I am not Catholic, neither born nor raised. I am not personally religious at all, in that I generally don't believe in anything supernatural or paranormal.

With that said, I strongly agree with many of Jesus's teachings as quoted in the Christian Bible, and find that many of those teachings have corresponding teachings in other religions such as in Buddhism (originating from India) or Taoism (originating from China). Overall, I am a fan of most religions, even though I personally ignore the supernatural parts or interpret them metaphorically.

My attitude on that matter is as follows: When truth is spoken, it is always spoken in solidarity with all truth-speakers across all of time and space, and even beyond that. Absolute truth is eternal.

And I believe that kind of truth has no gatekeepers.

I've read Jesus's words as quoted in the Bible just the same as I have read the full Tao Te Ching and the full Dhammapada, and all three to me convey a message that helps the reader transcend shame, greed, bodily urges, fear, and spiritual suffering (e.g. the feeling of being a prisoner in one's own body). In the case of fear specifically, that transcendence is called bravery or courage, which is not the absence of fear but the transcendence of it (i..e to be brave when afraid rather than enslaved by fear and thus spiritually imprisoned by cowardice). It is as unfortunately ironic as it is unsurprising that humans could pervert those teachings to cultivate fear, shame, and guilt in other humans thereby further enslaving and imprisoning those other humans to their cowardice, egoic identification, and false idol worship. I would argue that the bodily comfort of sitting on an expensive couch eating cake and drinking whiskey is a false idol, even when compared not only to the discomfort of physical exercise on a treadmill but also to the physical pain of having one's body literally burned by fire.

I wouldn't be surprised by the study you mention regarding Catholicism being the hardest religion to overcome, especially insofar as one is taught the religion from those who excessively push a threatening concept of literal supernatural hell in the after-life or who otherwise culturally use shame, fear and guilt to control other humans, which by extension cultivates anxiety and cowardice in the believer, which I would refer to as spiritual slavery or imprisonment, the opposite of spiritual liberation and transcendence. Where spiritual slavery would be associated with discontentment and feeling like a prisoner in one's own body, the opposite would be associated with the invincible contentment of inner peace.

But if we look for pendulums we often find them; Many times those who are pushed furthest from grace are then thereby pushed most to it. Those who are trapped most by fear, cowardice, or addiction are often later the most freed. When it comes to escaping the comfort zone, comfort and moderation can be counter-productive. If one is not so tormented by the idea of hell, one might not be so inclined to come to the likes of a Philosophy Forum and seek truth for themselves as a free thinker.

I believe the saving grace in Jesus's words make it so one could walk through not only the valley of the shadow of death without fear, but also walk through and burn within a literal hell and still fear no evil.

With enough inner peace, even a literal external hell is revealed as heaven. For such a person carries salvation with them wherever they go.

That's what I hear when I read Jesus's words about unconditional love, unconditional forgiveness, the commonness of humankind, non-judgementalism, the peaceful refusal to cast stones, the casting away of Martha's anxiety, and so on and so forth.

From those kinds of ideas, I not only get to a spiritual place where I fear no evil, but also that I see no true evil. And then even the so-called "problem of evil" vanishes, and the whole of reality is revealed as inexorably perfect, eternally so.
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 4694
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by LuckyR » February 23rd, 2021, 2:31 am

SneakySniper179 wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 10:35 am
There is always some straight up ******** with it. I was raised Catholic and I really cannot stand the religion but I feel forced to believe in it. I see how it got so far. It holds your soul at gun point.

People use to sell indulgence at one point and that makes me sick but I bet they sold like hot cakes. Who the hell even knows what people use to preach when the bible was in latin. None of it makes sense and it doesn't help me in the slightest but I am forced to believe in all this **** or burn forever. I don't believe in Islam and I don't feel any way about it but that could be the right religion after all and I could be wrong.

God doesn't do **** for your life unless you want him to. It really doesn't matter. You can pray all you want but stage 4 cancer will never go away. So what do prayers really mean. I believe people are scared of what they don't know that happens after this place so they pray for their souls.

I mean, if we truly loved god we wouldn't be held down by fear. I do love life but I do love God or fear him. I fear him to a certain extent and I believe most people do but you can't be honest about that or like I said, you'd go to hell. Crazy stuff.

Let me end by saying this. If you don't fear the conquences of going to hell and you truly love him than denounce god out loud. I don't think any religious person would because you won't be forgiven. I'm not nor do I want to but that's my point.

You are afraid of burning in hell forever and ever. Hows that for all mercy and love. I'm just aggravated by religion. I couldn't have thought of a worse thing to happen to me.
Don't feel bad, there are plenty (a thin majority, perhaps?) of the religious whose religiosity is an inch deep, even if a mile wide. You know them on sight: in church on Easter with a new hat, but cut you off in the church parking lot while flipping you the bird.

Modern organized religions fulfill many social, psychological and frankly financial roles that have little to nothing to do with gods. They'll always exist but their trend is not promising.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 8739
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Steve3007 » February 23rd, 2021, 6:22 am

SneakySniper179 wrote:I feel forced to believe in it. I see how it got so far. It holds your soul at gun point.
Hi SneakySniper179. Would you say that the main reason why it "holds your soul at gun point", as you put it, is that it was part of the culture in which you have lived from an early age? I think it's often difficult for us to look critically at things we learnt when we were very young because it's at that age when our deepest views of how the world works at a fundamental level are laid down. We learn the most basic patterns in Nature, which we then often come to see not as things learnt from experience but as axiomatic truths which it would be self-contradictory to deny. This seems to me to be the source of a lot of intractable argument on subjects related to religion.

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 8739
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Steve3007 » February 23rd, 2021, 6:33 am

I think most of the people you talk to here, including me, have no religious beliefs. So obviously we could simply say "Stop worrying. There's no God, no heaven and no hell. You're not going to burn for all eternity". But if your upbringing really does hold you hostage in the way that you've described, maybe that wouldn't help. Maybe your best bet is to talk to people who do hold religious beliefs, but less "hell and damnation" ones. In my experience there are plenty of religious people with much more healthy and useful beliefs than the ones that you've described and which have made you angry.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 1510
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 23rd, 2021, 6:36 am

Steve3007 wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 6:22 am
SneakySniper179 wrote:I feel forced to believe in it. I see how it got so far. It holds your soul at gun point.
Hi SneakySniper179. Would you say that the main reason why it "holds your soul at gun point", as you put it, is that it was part of the culture in which you have lived from an early age? I think it's often difficult for us to look critically at things we learnt when we were very young because it's at that age when our deepest views of how the world works at a fundamental level are laid down. We learn the most basic patterns in Nature, which we then often come to see not as things learnt from experience but as axiomatic truths which it would be self-contradictory to deny. This seems to me to be the source of a lot of intractable argument on subjects related to religion.

I think you've got it there, Steve. I was raised Catholic, but I found a way to move on from there, as I got to 16 or so. But the racist 😱 attitudes I absorbed from British society as a child in the 50s and 60s are still there. I am easily able to over-ride these unpleasant attitudes consciously, but underneath, they're still there, and may remain for the rest of my days. 😢 As you say, things we learn early (and uncritically - I think that's the critical bit) can stay with us forever.

But there is definitely life after Catholicism; there was for me, and there's hope for SneakySniper179 too! 👍
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
SneakySniper179
New Trial Member
Posts: 14
Joined: February 9th, 2021, 10:32 pm

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by SneakySniper179 » February 23rd, 2021, 6:58 am

I'm slowly moving away from It but it has effected the way I have seen god in my life. I believe there is something but I believe none of the book for the most part. I am sure there are angel like beings but I don't know anything for a fact. The devil is a cop out for the most part. I don't believe it him.

It's a cop out by God and man himself. God uses him as a cop out for messed up stuff and people use him for why they do messed up stuff. I was an atheist and one night changed my world forever.

Though I was born into Catholicism I moved to being an atheist/agnostic. Anyway I have this uncle who gets exorcisms done from the church. I never believe he was possessed but he does have a vague evil energy about him.

One night I was in north Philly and someone asked me to commit a murder for pay. I said no and he asked why and I shrugged but my response in my head was "I don't want to lose my soul". I took mushrooms and this person messaged me for weed. I said ok and we went back to my house.

When I got there I was tripping and he came like a minute after I got home. He was with these three weird people but they seemed harmless. As I was tripping I noticed they all had a light around them. It was like an ora. I look over at the my uncle and he had a dark cloud wafting around him.

He was smoking a cigarette and he looked dark. Like his soul was ****. My thought because I was an atheist was he was on heroin. I felt truly compelled to help him so I took him into another room to talk.

I said he shouldn't do opiates and that it's bad ****. He told me he wasn't. I asked what was up. He said do you believe in spirits. I said no.

He proceeded to tell me he was possessed and some other ****. My friend came in and I was kinda in a trance like state. He looked at my friend with disgust and left. I walked him out and he hugs me. He felt like smoke. Like I was hugging nothing.

I lost my mind after that. There are many strange occurances around that man. I became a strong believer after that but it was all predicated around ********. I lied to myself into believing something I thought was nonsense after that day because of the fear I had.

That's how I became catholic again.

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 8739
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Steve3007 » February 23rd, 2021, 7:00 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:... I am easily able to over-ride these unpleasant attitudes consciously, but underneath, they're still there, and may remain for the rest of my days...
Yes, we can challenge attitudes and views that were laid down in childhood using rational arguments based on evidence. In childhood, we don't yet have the life experience that constitutes a large part of the evidence, and we haven't yet fully developed the capacity for abstract thought required for the arguments. So there are strong evolutionary reasons why children trust what their parents, and parent-like figures, tell them about the world.

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 8739
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Steve3007 » February 23rd, 2021, 7:25 am

The evolutionary advantage of children who unquestioningly obey their parents is pretty obvious. If a parent says "don't go near that fire or you'll get burned!" and the child thinks "Pah! What do you know? I've never been burned by a fire before, so I'm going to jump right in!" then no more child. Bye bye genetic line.

In my experience, a lot of religious people use an analogy with this idea in promoting the virtues of belief in a God. This is where the notion that religious faith constitutes humility mostly seems to come from. They see it as a recognition that humans are fallible and not all-knowing and that there are some things that should be trusted without question. Obviously the snag is that those things were invented by other humans.

baker
Posts: 587
Joined: November 28th, 2020, 6:55 am

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by baker » February 23rd, 2021, 7:49 am

Scott wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 5:52 pm
I am not Catholic, neither born nor raised. I am not personally religious at all, in that I generally don't believe in anything supernatural or paranormal.
It's easy to underestimate what it means to be born and raised into a religion. A child born and raised into a religion will internalize the religious beliefs long before his cognitive abilities have physically developed to the point of criticial thinking. It's similar to being born and raised into a monochromatic environment -- such a person will have no sense of color, even if their eyes are physiologically able to see color.

It's a very specific predicament that is difficult to wrangle oneself out, as the deeply internalized Catholic beliefs prevent the person from abandoning them.

User avatar
Pattern-chaser
Posts: 1510
Joined: September 22nd, 2019, 5:17 am
Favorite Philosopher: Cratylus
Location: England

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 23rd, 2021, 8:52 am

baker wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 7:49 am
A child born and raised into a religion will internalize the religious beliefs long before his cognitive abilities have physically developed to the point of criticial thinking.
Yes! That's what I was trying to say! ;)
Pattern-chaser

"Who cares, wins"

User avatar
Steve3007
Posts: 8739
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Location: UK

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by Steve3007 » February 23rd, 2021, 9:29 am

You know what they say.

You can take the X out of the Y but you can't take the Y out of the X.
Where:
X = A person.
Y = A cultural milieu.

User avatar
robbiej653
New Trial Member
Posts: 1
Joined: February 23rd, 2021, 3:08 pm

Re: I really can't stand religion yet I feel forced to believe it.

Post by robbiej653 » February 23rd, 2021, 3:29 pm

Also being indoctrinated as a child into the Catholic religion, I understand that it is extremely hard to erase the thoughts, concepts , power of religion from your psyche. Even after years of believing that all religions are just a means of controlling the masses, it is difficult not to have a both ways bet on your final outcome. I have been lucky enough to read MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS, which has reinforced my belief that our life is just a transient phase in a much longer span of our spirits existence. This has led me away from the need to believe in a God. However as part of my philosophical studies I was unable to disprove the existence of God.
The real question is whether a belief in a God is the same as the acceptance of a religion. Is there anything in the teachings of your religion that is consistent with you believing in a god without all the trappings/ frills/pomp and ceremony of the manmade and continually enhanced institution / system.

Post Reply

Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021